Measles outbreak continues to spread

NEW figures show that a measles outbreak in the North-East is continuing to spread.

The latest figures published by Public Health England (PHE) show that since the beginning of September 2012, when the numbers started increasing, 200 confirmed cases and 176 suspected cases of the illness have now been reported.

This is an increase of 19 confirmed and 14 suspected cases on the previous week.

The majority of cases continue to be reported in the Teesside, County Durham and Darlington area.

People aged between 10 and 19 years continue to be most affected, making up 39 per cent of all cases.

Julia Waller, immunisation lead for the North East PHE Centre said: "Measles is highly infectious and unvaccinated children and adults who haven't had it before are at risk when it is circulating, as it is now in this region.

"There is no treatment for measles but it can be prevented by the MMR vaccine and two doses are required to ensure the best protection.

"If anyone is unsure about their immunisation status they should check with their GP. If you've missed out on MMR in the past it's always possible to catch-up as the vaccine can be given at any age."

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